Quote of the Moment: Beck on God

Glenn Beck after the election considers some deep theology:

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Wednesday declared that Mitt Romney’s loss to President Barack Obama proved that “sometimes God really sucks.”

Also, history:

“Just like those Christians that rolled up the Dead Sea Scrolls and put them in pots. I don’t know what happened to those Christians but they hid them”

Dammit, put down the Dan Brown. The Dead Sea Scrolls were written and hidden by Jews. You’re either thinking of the Nag Hammadi Library, or you’re just hopelessly ignorant.

  • NoYourGod

    I vote “hopelessly ignorant”.

  • Daryl

    Actually, there are some scholars who think the DSS were the product of early Jewish Christianity, specifically a sect led by James the Just. Robert Eisenman is the main scholar on this. It’s not a theory that commands any kind of major support, but neither is it the product of a total crank. I don’t think carbon dating rules out its possibility.

    Whether Beck was thinking about this or whether he was simply displaying ignorance, I don’t know, but I can hazard a guess…

    • C.J. O’Brien

      The conflation of the DSS and the Nag Hammadi papyri is pretty common, I guess because they were found around the same time. The Half Price Books in Berkeley has a shelf in the Bible/Religion section that’s labeled “Dead Sea Scrolls/Gnosticism” as an example, not of the kind of hopeless confusion that is Beck’s, but just of the linkage in the culture at large. Both go in the ‘Famous Scrolls Found in Desert’ bin.

      And, yeah. I’d be extremely surprised if Beck had the slightest clue who Eisenmann is. And BTW, it’s not carbon dating that rules his theory out, it’s mostly that he has to ignore the paleographic evidence, which puts the date of several of the scrolls he needs to be 1st c. CE squarely in the 1st c. BCE or earlier. He acknowledges this, and claims that paleography is subjective and circular. I think his theory is flawed just because other interpretations are a better fit; it relies on the same kind of explaining away he does with paleography on a number of other problems, and his translations at a number of points are shall we say conveniently idiosyncratic.

  • EldoonFeeb

    The religious right doesn’t want to accept that God heard all their prayers for Romney, and for Obama’s days to be shortened, but that the answer was, “No.” Beck should know that. It’s part of his Mormon belief that God doesn’t always give the answer we want. (It’s a handier explanation than there being no gods to hear their prayers.) But, you know, Beck has a show to fill with something.

    • EldoonFeeb

      Oh, and it was a hope among Mormons that the DSS would somehow validate the bits of Mormon theology that diverge from standard Christianity.

  • vasaroti

    I don’t think the site called Qumran is necessarily associated with the Essenes any more, and the notion that a room there is a scriptorium is questioned, too. The tidy package of DSS, Qumran, Essenes and a possible connection with Jesus has fallen apart with modern scholarship.

  • busterggi

    Beck is ignorant – he thinks Nag Hamadi is the liberal wife of Mr. Hamadi.


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